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Cool Stuff – Week of June 3, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

That’s it for this edition of Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Op-Ed: The New Horizon(tal)

Tips & Tricks

Landscape mode or portrait mode? This Op-Ed makes the case for breaking traditional molds and shooting more subjects in landscape orientation. The new Horizon(tal) is here.

5 Things I Learned at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference

Tips & Tricks

Last week we had a great time at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. As an event partner and sponsor we had a chance to meet a lot of great photographers in attendance. The conference had a great energy to it. With photographers being so active and social on Google+ it was rather effortless to pick up conversations in person with photographers of all stripes and experience levels. It was for this reason alone that attending was an amazing experience. Beyond meeting with great photographers there was a lot of great information shared amongst attendees and speakers alike. The 5 takeaways that I came back with that all photographers on Google+ could stand to benefit from included:

1. Focus on Community
The community on Google+ feels like the Flickr photography community of old. There is a constant flow of photos with many photographers you’ll find familiar and many more that will likely be new to you. It’s a great time to explore and network with photographers of all backgrounds, experience levels and expertises. In fact there are numerous sub-communities on Google+ focusing on various photography niches. Google+ makes it super easy and fast to find information in alignment with your photographic and non-photographic interests.

What made the Google+ Photographer’s Conference so special is the fact that this virtual community became tangible. If you follow someone on Google+ it was all the reason you needed to introduce yourself. It was great to be able to pick up conversations previously confined to posts and comments. Getting out to talk and photograph with your compatriots from abroad made for an extremely special time.

2. Engage
Google+ is a great place to connect with a community, but it’s only as good as you make it. Find great photographers and interact with them. You never know when someone is active online so don’t let it phase you if your comments go unnoticed at first. Keep commenting and interacting and before you know it you’ll be conversing with photographers you thought you’d never talk to.

3. Hangout: Join One, Start One
What sets Google+ apart from other social media web sites is their ability to support group video chats. It is by far one of the most novel features added to a social media site that I’ve yet to see. Conveying text updates in real-time is great, sharing photos is also great, but being able to talk and see each other in real conversations is extremely cool. It has its moments of getting bogged down if your connection isn’t the fastest, but its still a great experience. Over time it will no doubt improve, but in the meantime there is nothing that should stop you from giving it a try.

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer's Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer's Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

4. Chrome Plugins
Above and beyond my previously recommended chrome plugins (see 5 Highly Recommended Google+ Chrome Extensions) Guy Kawasaki shared his 3 favorite plugins at the conference. They may not all be of use to you, but I bet at least one is. Take note that “Replies and More” will help you with Lesson #2 (see above) as tagging someone in your reply will send an email to that person. It’s a great way to reach out to someone above and beyond the average comment.

  1. Do Share allows you to schedule posts.
  2. Replies and More simplifies responding to authors and commenters.
  3. Nuke Comments streamlines reporting, blocking, and deleting comments in a single click.

5. Hashtags to Explore
Hashtags are a great way to see running threads of conversation across broad pools of people that you may or may not yet be following. Some hashtags are used to note photo themes and others to note discussion topics. In either case if you see a hashtag (ex. #gpluspc) click on it and you’ll find posts relating to that topic in less than a second. With a little deeper searching you’re sure to find new people to connect with.
A great photography hashtag list to start with is from Eric LeslieDaily Photography Themes on Google+  You’re bound to find something of interest here and its a great catalyst to start interacting with some great photographers.

Now that you know, we hope to see you on Google+ and be sure to visit us on our G+ BorrowLenses.com page.

Tip of the Week – Replicate Photographer Peter Hurley’s Signature Look With Strobes

Tips & Tricks

Want to learn how to replicate famous headshot photographer Peter Hurley’s signature look, but with strobes? Check out this edition of Tip of the Week!

Photo Finds – Week of May 28, 2012

Photographers
Brad Moore

Brad Moore

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we bring you the work of concert photographer Brad Moore, from Tampa, Fl.

I met Brad briefly at the Google+ Conference for Photographers in San Francisco. He was there as part of the organizing staff, as he’s conference organizer Scott Kelby’s assistant. Brad has also appeared on a few shows produced by Kelby Training, such as The Grid and D-Town TV. (more…)

Hanging at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference – Part III

BL News

We’re still reeling from the Google+ Photographer’s Conference experience, but I thought I’d put together a few final thoughts on this unique experience.

Photographer Erik Valind teaches a class on lighting.

Photographer Erik Valind teaches a class on lighting.

This was two days of jam-packed sessions that started at 9am and ended at 9pm, with everything from panels to live shoots going on at any given time. The conference was relatively intimate, held in a space that, while spacious enough for everyone, wasn’t sprawling. You didn’t get exhausted walking from one room to another, nor were there so many attendees that you felt like you got lost in the crowd.

Moose Peterson looks on, larger-than-life, during Trey Ratcliff's conversation with Scott Kelby

Moose Peterson looks on, larger-than-life, during Trey Ratcliff's conversation with Scott Kelby

Photographer Ivan Makarov said it best: “ It seems like my whole G+ feed was there live, and instead of +1 or re-sharing stuff, I was able to talk to them in person.” That’s really what it felt like to us too.

Scott Kelby talks to Trey Ratcliff in "An Evening With Trey Ratcliff," the final session of the conference.

Scott Kelby talks to Trey Ratcliff in "An Evening With Trey Ratcliff," the final session of the conference.

We’re used to seeing Trey Ratcliff, Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, Catherine Hall, and Brian Matiash pop up on our G+ feeds. Seeing them in person was another experience altogether. It was a reminder that, for all of the social media activity we all engage in, photography is a pursuit that’s carried out by real people, in real life (IRL).

Colby Brown, Trey Ratcliff, Brian Matiash, and Catherine Hall on a conference panel.

Colby Brown, Trey Ratcliff, Brian Matiash, and Catherine Hall on a conference panel.

The sessions at GPlusPC reinforced this. Every speaker who had a session on Google+ talked about using it to forge real connections, with real people. Even the conversations on building brands and developing strategies focused on connecting with people, rather than creating marketing plans.

Scott Kelby, wrapping up the conference.

Scott Kelby, wrapping up the conference.

You got this sense that there was an effort to explain to folks that Google+ isn’t necessarily where you market to your clients, but rather, where you connect with other members of the photo community. I saw no sessions on how to increase your revenue or reach new clients – this was a conference about connecting all of us through Google+, then using those connections to become better photographers.

We had a blast at GPlusPC, and we hope they bring it back next year. We look forward to meeting folks there, but in the meantime, make sure you follow us on Google+ as well!

 

Cool Stuff – Week of May 25, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.